Plant biology

Leaves Talk Long Distance

Science's STKE  15 May 2001:
Vol. 2001, Issue 82, pp. tw11
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2001.82.tw11

Can one leaf tell another what to do? Lake et al. report that indeed, older leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana seem to influence the response of younger leaves to atmospheric CO2 concentration. Both mature leaves and new leaves exhibited a decrease in stomata density when only the mature leaves were exposed to high CO2. The authors suggest that a long-distance signal gets transmitted from older to younger leaves. It is thought that new leaves cannot respond appropriately to changes in atmospheric CO2.

J. A. Lake, W. P. Quick, D. J. Beerling, F. I. Woodward, BRS1, a serine carboxypeptidase, signals from mature to new leaves. Nature 411, 154 (2001). [Online Journal]